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Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

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Old 02-12-2004, 02:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6
brian79 HB User
Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

Ive decided to write the following without correcting my spelling
mistakes - just to give you an idea as to how poor my spelling is.


I'm 21 years old and I'm currently doing a research masters in
Computer Engineering. I have terrible trouble trying to spell and am
interseted in establishing the root cause of my disability. When at
school I never learned my speling homework - the attitude being that
there was no physical evidences to prove to the teacher that I had or
had not learned them - unlike any other type of homework.

I think its fair to say that I was the best in my class at math. The
teacher often gave us an advanced question not previously covered in
our earier studies, and I tended to be the person who figured out the
solution. On the other hand, I was diabolical at speeling. In fifth
grade one day, our teacher lined us all up at the front of the class
and started asking us spellings, starting at the 3rd grade section of
the spelling book. At the end of this exercise, he had two groups;
poor spellers and the rest. The poor spelling group consisted of all
the remedial students from the class and myself, and no one else. The
teacher then proceeded to establish the worst speller in the class -
which ended up being me.

I was talking to a doctor lately and he said that he had a nation
based IQ test as a kid. This placed him in the top 5% for math, and
the bottom 40% for speeling.

One problem I have, involves speeling the same word differently, even
on the same page. I also notice that sometimes I can spell a word and
sometimes I cant - just recently I counldn't decide if said was
speeled said or siad.

I always presumed that the reason I cant spell proficiently, is
because I never formally sat down and learned to spell. But I read all
day as part of my studies, so surely they would have began to sink in
by now.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me some idea as
to why I am such a cronic speller.

Since I started doing exams in college, I've noticed that the questions I had the most difficulty with were those I knew the answer for. I'd usually end up giving an answer which contained 3 different versions of one direct answer -
infact I often skipped those questions, hoping to get back to them later in the exam when my mind was a bit more coherient. I always did poorly in exams - getting a full grade lower than I felt I deserved.
THis is coupled with the fact that I cant spell and my writing is
legible but unbelievably incoherient - I slope my letters with
randomly assigned angles. I'm sure my paper was a nightmare for any

Sometimes when I'm speaking, I'll suddenly stop because I cant
remember the word that comes next in the sentence. It can be any kind
of word, not just a noun - which would include peoples names for
example. Its like the word disapperas from my head such that I might
say - "The problem is.....simple" - I'd forget the word "basic", and
have to substitute it with the word "simple" instead. THis is
something that only started about two years ago, when I was 21. And
no, I didn't start taking drugs then Sometimes aswell I'll be
specking and suddewnly forget what I was saying, and will have to say
to person I'm talking to "Eh, what was I saying again...oh yeah". THis
is again something thats only started happening in recent years. My
memory is normally excellent, I can remember what I was thinking about
when I was as young as 3 years old.

I have "Awareness in Sleep Paralysis" which is a nurological disorder,
which involves waking up and not being able to move - the mind is
awake, but all or some of the senses are still switched off. The mind
then substites for these senses - in otherwords, you might see, feel,
or hear something which isnt there. Is dyslexia a nurological

I was disastorous at languages at school. I came first in my class in
English though, for the mock version of my final exams. This was
because I used words which I could spell and because the teacher
appreciated the fact that i could spell. Having to limit my vocabulary
really irritated me and I decided to, stuburnly, to use what ever
words I wanted to use in the final exam, hoping the correcter would
ignore the fact that couldn't spell. I got a D.

Is there a link between art and dyslexia? I did art at school until I
was 18, and was the only person in my class to get an honour in it
that year. I developed my own style of painting which my art teacher
and class mates were very critical and cynical of. Anyway, my art
teacher had a nervous breakdown in our final year, and we had a
substitute for the half a year leading up to the exams - he loved my
stuff, and was horrified to learn that I didnt go to art college.
I've been writing music since I was 12, and always have music swimming
around in my head.

I just found these questions, regarding the diagnosis of dyslexia, and
I've added my answers -

• Are there any family members who experienced difficulty
learning to read or spell when they were at school?

My mother is nearly as bad at spelling as I am.

• Has your child suffered from repeated ear infections?

Whats the link between ear infextion and dislexia?
I had a really bad ear infection once, but I got that camping. Both
myself, my sister, and my dad suffer from blocked ears a lot. I
recently had my hearing tested because I can never hear a thing when
I'm in a place with background noise. Anyway, my hearing is above
average so I've no idea why I find it impossible to hear people who
are sitting next to me in a bar when people sitting at the oppisite
end of the table can hear the conversation perfectly. My mom and her
sister also suffer from this.

• Is your child experiencing feelings of failure at school?

Not really, no.

• Does your child have difficulties with spelling?

I sure do.

• Does your child confuse left and right?

I could never tell left and right apart until I lost the nail on my
left thumb when I was 12. Now I usually look at that thumb and know
that I'm looking left.

• Is anyone in your family left-handed?
Yeah, my brother.

• Does your child find difficulty working with numbers?


• Does your child have difficulty reading aloud?

Yeah, but I'm sure thats just nerves. I would get very nerious at even
the tought of public speaking. I woory about the petiest of things.

• Does your child get confused about following instructions, for
example when playing a game?


• Does your child have difficulty remembering the multiplication

Yeah. I'm very good at maths on a logical level, but I had a lot of
difficulty learning tables off. I still have trouble with the 6 and 8
times table for some reason.

Thank for you patience and time,


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Old 02-13-2004, 01:04 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 58
pjchik HB User
Re: Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

First I have to thank you for posting the dsylexia questionairre. If my docs had asked my fam. these kinds of things... Anyway, I think you might (stress MIGHT) be dsylexic. I think it's probably a slight case though. I didn't know about mine until I had computer class in high school and started typing stuff with letters mixed up. I've never known anyone else with the left right problem before. So that's kind of cool. In a whole, I'm not the only one kinda way. I have kind of a reverse thing in spelling though. I was a great speller until after my computer class. Then I kept forgetting how things were spelled, etc. But all in all, other than actually going to the doc and getting a professional diagnosis, I'd say you (hehe, here's the MIGHT again) have a slight case of dyslexia. Hope this helps you out
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:13 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 657
Redhead23 HB User
Re: Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

About the ear infections - from what I can gather, low muscle tone is linked to a whole range of learning disorders as well as autism spectrum disorders, this includes Dyslexia, AD/HD, NVLD, Asperger's and Autism.

This low muscle tone can among other things lead the tubes in your ears to clog up and due to lack of self-cleaning mechanism cause infections.

Recurrent ear infections in childhood are therefore, among many other secondary symptoms, used as an indicator for such problems. (It's not on a very high priority AFAIK, but still part of it)
25, female, AS with attentional dysfunction

Inhibited Perfectionist

Old 03-25-2004, 04:38 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 71
Anybody HB User
Re: Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

If you can do math well, you can learn to spell.

When you do math you make pictures in your mind right?

You must learn to do the same with words. Start with small words. See them in your mind. See the word "cat". Now spell it backwards.

I will say that you seem to have been traumatized by your early teachers. You were set up as an example of a poor speller, and so now you are just living up to their expectations. Actually your expectations, as they have taught you to expect to be a poor speller.

If you have the time do some research into NLP. I believe that NLPU has some good articles on various matters. They have an on line encyclopedia which you might find helpful.

Old 04-14-2004, 02:21 PM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 99
Bob2 HB User
Re: Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

Did you ever learn how to sound out a word, when you are trying to spell it. That is, you sound out each syllable and spell that syllable. Most people spell by sounding out words in such an automatic way that they don't even think about it. If you don't do this you have to remember each letter of a word in trying to spell it. An example is if you want to spell father, you sound it out and spell it: fa f a ther t h e r. Of course you need to know the sounds that various letter combinations make. You may need a class in phonics, but at your age nothing may be available. You could look for a book on phonics and study it.

Old 04-14-2004, 08:32 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 381
Laurie2 HB User
Re: Spelling problems, might I have dyslexia?

My husband always had problems with reading when going to school. He said some of the letters would jumble or reverse themselves. Reading aloud was unbearable. Only later on, when he got interested in the American Civil War (this during the first Centennial) did this change. His mother bought a late 19th century book "Campfires and Battlefields" for him and he was forced to focus on his reading to get through it.

As for spelling, when he went to school it was phonics and this was a help in his spelling he said. He just had problems reading.

I have no problems with spelling myself and an excellent reader. My husband would ask me how to spell some words rather than look them up in a dictionary. Being a babyboomer, I had "See and Say" rather than "Phonics" when going to elementary school.

Our son is a very good speller and never had any problems reading. When he went to kindergarden, they were teaching a combination of phonics and "see and say" and this seemed to help. He has always been good in Math and earned a two year scholarship. Graduated and now works in the ITN department of the college he graduated from...

Our daughter has similar problems with spelling like her father and did have some problems reading at one point. By the time she went to kindergarden, phonics was not used anymore and "see and say" used instead. The school did have a program, when she got older, to help kids with such problems. This seemed to pull her out of it.

Reading isnt a problem anymore, just spelling. Not as bad as it used to be though.
She is not bad at Math. She won some trophies playing Chess though. Just the way the mind works analytically.

The English language is full of loan words, old English and others that have changed the sounds but not the spelling. It is a very rich language compared to many others for t his reason. But a problem if you have problems spelling.
Spelling is a chore that she works hard at and still spells the way the word sounds to her.

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